News from the Archives v04-2

Albert Fulton’s News from the Archives Newsletter Collection

News from the Archives v04-2

  • Created by:Albert Fulton
  • Dat
    e: 1995-06-01
  • Provenance:Collected by members of Toronto Island Connections group, scanned by Edward English, OCR by Eric Zhelka, PDF by Eric Light
  • Notes: v04-2

JUNE 1, 1995
On April 1 Captain Frank held a wake for Miss Flatbottom, a fixture on the shores o f Algonquin for many years, latterly opposite 24 Omaha. She has since been transformed into a woodpile.
Artist Frank Sibley bought the 16′ plywood hull in 1960 and added his first version of a cabin ayear later. He scrounged lumber from his old studio-house in the Gerrard Street Village (55 Gerrard St W), which had been occupied for a time during the 1920s by Ernest Hemingway. Frank proudly showed off “Hemingway’s drawers” to visitors on board Miss Flatbottorn.
From Frank’s publicity release: “Even though she has remained beached for the last five years – due to an unfortunate bottom – she’s been afloat on many seas – mainly Toronto Harbour, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie – crossing the lake to Niagara, Port Weller & Port Dalhousie twice – also Hamilton, Port Colbourne, Buffalo and on to Port Maitland & Port Dover – a stout ship for sixteen feet! She has made the front page of the Toronto Star and National TV in ’73 – when said ship and skipper were feared drowned on return from Frenchman’s Bay – however arrived back a little shaken and tired (no prob). I could go on and on – but instead I’ll share a punch bowl of eggnog & navy rum – come shed a tear or revel in joy & laughter at the passing o f Miss Flatbottom!”
Miss Flatbottom had her share of ups and downs during her 35 year lifespan. She once sank at her moorings at the foot of Bay St behind the Haida. After being hoisted to the surface by a rope attached to a jeep, she was pumped out by the Harbour Police and towed back to Algonquin by Murray Darrah’s water taxi. On another occasion she almost sank while loaded with cartons of books and an oil heater during Nina Handley’s move across the lagoon from 164 Lake Shore to 22 Omaha. Luckily she was beached and the books off-loaded in time.
Captain Frank has been a summer Islander from the time, as a lad, he contracted whooping cough while living on Hooper Ave (an appropriate ailment). He spent a summer living in a locker at the QCYC, and later rented an apartment in the old Gooderham mansion at 250 Lake Shore (the big white house with the pillars, converted into about 15 apartments). When it was torn down, he moved to 1 St Andrew’s.
Frank’s cartoons and illustrations have appeared in most of the local newspapersand magazines, e.g. the sketches of restaurants which accompanied the regular Eating Out column in the Star TV Guide. We shall miss his Christmas posters and decorations which adorned Miss Flatbottom, but we hope that he will continue delivering his creative Christmas cards, usually with a nautical theme. Photos of Miss Flatbottom in her various incarnations are in the Archives.
The channel is about 10′ west of the markers. Branches and other debris have been removed and ye olde bedspring has been dragged through a few times. The black bedspring rope is looped over the end of the fallen tree on the Algonquin side opposite the southernmost marker. Feel free to drag it through the channel any time you feel like it. Any other dredging possibilities?
ALGONQUI N ISLAND ARCHIVES e/o Albert Fulton 5 Ojibway Ave Toronto M5J 2C9 203-0921 or 537-5006
4. ” O P . BATJKIni 5. ” P I N K PANTHERS”
Joan McDonald, S h i r l e y E a rle ,
Toni Ha d d ra l l, Na n cy’L ye , L in d a Hammell
E ric Gamble, J e f f r e y Ip N, J o h n McPh a il
Ralph P h i l l i p . . , St e ve n L ye , Do u g . Hamburg
Monica Vermeulen
Accompanied b y I s a b e l Gamble
Vi Rae
L o rra in e Gamble and R i t a P h i l l i p s
INTERMISSION – Clubhouse Notes
Ruth Bra d le y and Group
Kate V e rwe i j, B rya n Co wlin g , J o s V e rwe i j Barbara Ro e ric k and P a t Ma rt o n
Ted S..o va ll and Group
Al Cox
Frank McDonald, Ke n L ye ,
C l i f f Ha d d ra l l, Ha n k Hanger
L ig h t in g b y Sta n West an d Norman McCutcheon – So u n d E f f e c t s b y R i c k Ro e ri c k
Stage S e t t i n g b y Pa t Mo rto n – Sta g e h a n d s – Syd Gra ve lin e , J i m Ma rto n , Norman McCutcheon
Tra ve l Po st e rs Donated b y Tra n s Wo rld A i rl i n e s and Lufthan sa A i r l i n e s
WANTED: ARTISTS TO’PAINTTORONTO The late, great airbrush art- ist Salvador Deli Would no
But the organizers Of First ‘411gittlorisooto;Itieritth an- •mai N i t * T e i r i
– tionPf,thuarts, Williettle for
The aim is to make an artis tic mark with a variety of art forms that use the existing streetscape in innovative

visual art that aipiris to the
ways, bolstering the Public’s
doubt have a heyday turning – Toronto’s downtown concrete urban landscape into a psyche delic montage of melting sky scrapers and steel twisting Into organic images.
E v e _ c e l e b r a –
‘same hhtd of innOVatien — the art ivill be showcased it thea tres, churches, office lobbies and street comers throughout downtown during this year’s event.
understanding of the urban environment. Theatrical and street performers arealso in vited to show their stuff. The deadline for **missions is June 30. All artists will be
25 —31 ic ic i57
paid for their work.•For info_ call 362-3692.-” •••••, •
Opposite is the program for Barb Roerick’s first talent night, almost 30 years ago. Titled “Island Revue”, it was staged at the AIA on November 20,1965. Included in the cast and also apprearing in this year’s edition were Barb, Joan McDonald, and a youthful Doug Hamburgh. Barb has kindly loaned her videotapes of the 1987-1995 productions, filmed by son Garth and Brenton Wiebe. Copies have been edited and indexed so that if you wish to relive your performance, or revisit someone else’s, they can be called up conveniently. It is especially interesting to see again the beautiful red stage curtains at the AlA and Jerry Englar’s scenic backdrop for the 1989 show. The tape was left running after the 1987 show, and Islanders young and old (including Hazel Buzza) can be seen cavorting in gay abandon. MCs for the taped productions were Bruce Rosensweet, Michael Jones, Rick/Simon, and Vanessa Alexander.
Grahame Beakhust’s Guerilla Gardener programs have been running since January on the Discovery Channel at 11:30 am and 1 pm. Most were taped and then faithfully viewed and annotated by Vivian Pitcher. The Island episodes and a few other choice items have been consolidated for easy viewing. Islanders whose gardens have been featured or who have been interviewed by Grahame to date are Steve Aikenhead, Jim Belisle, April Hickox, Sheila Murray, Vivian Pitcher, and lain Robertson.
Diana Rowland lent a video for copying of the famous Island Follies of 1984,and Montessori School activities at the AlA in September 1984. The Follies performances at a series of locations in the Algonquin meadow featured such performers as Diana, Peter McLaughlin, Roger Pepler, Lorraine Filyer, Bie Engelen and Adam Zhelka, supported by a large cast and crew. Photos of this ambitious pageant are in the Archives.
Tapes in the Archives collection can be viewed in the darkened video room during the regular Archives open house hours of 1-5 on Sunday afternoons.
The redevelopment of the lands by the boardwalk is reminiscent of the settlement of Algonquin 57 years ago. After the cottage season of 1937, the lagoon between the Western Sandbar and Hanlan’s Point was filled in to create the airport lands, and the 54 cottages lined up on the Sandbar were removed. The owners were given the choice of accepting compensation and leaving, hauling their cottages to vacant lots further south on Hanlan’s where they would be given compensating leases, or moving the cottages to Sunfish Island where they would be given non compensating leases,renewable after 10 years.
According to Bill Condie (more about him later), 5 families took the compensation, 17 moved south, and the remaining 32 decided to take the barge to Sunfish (renamed Algonquin in 1938). In contrast to the recent lottery which was used to determine the order of choice for the new lots, the City used seniority as the criterion. The city records were only complete back to 1918,and the 15leaseholders who were present at that time were given 3 days notice to come to City Hall (by noon on November 17, 1937) to choose their new lots. Subsequent groups of 8 or 9, in order of seniority, were given until the afternoon, morning, and afternoon of the 17th and 18th to make their choices.
Which are the best lots on Algonquin? This is a frequently debated question, and thankfully there is a range of preference. For the record, the lots preferred by the pioneers were as follows: from the first group of 15, those who chose to come to Algonquin selected 14,20,22,28,32,34,36 Omaha and 21,23,27,29,33 Seneca. The popularity of the Omaha lots is understandable as many of the cottagers owned boats, and the Seneca lots faced a good beach before the present seawall
was built. The location of the Sandbar cottages was arguably the best on the Island. They fronted on the widest beach, and their porches faced the sunsets over the lake. Out back, the boaters built their docks on the sheltered lagoon. The next group of 9 chose 26 Omaha, 19, 25, 35 Seneca, and 11Wyandot. The next group of 8 chose 18,30 Omaha, 11,17 Seneca, and 3,17 Wyandot. The last group of 8 chose 6,24 Omaha, 7, 15 Seneca, and 13,15 Wyandot. New owners chose 8 Omaha and 13 Seneca. Four pairs o f neighbours on the Sandbar also became neighbours on Algonquin. Normally choosing neighbours is like choosing children — we don’t get the chance! However, if families in the same seniority group showed up at the same time on their alloted day, presumably they could choose neighbouring lots. Did this happen? Does anyone remember?
The above lists give a total of 31houses, one short of Bill Condie’s count. Could the other one be 6 Oneida? The assessment rolls list that lot as being vacant until 1942, but Len Barnett, who lived there in the 1
construction materials. If so, where did it come from? Again from the assessment rolls, the first
6 0 s ,
occupants were Blake & Blanche Van Winkle and one child. According to the QCYC centennial
c l a i m s
book, Blake was Commodore in 1935-39 and had overseen the construction of the new clubhouse
t h a t
in 1921. Hence Blake and Blanche are probably no longer with us, but maybe the child is still
t h e
about and knows where the house came from. “Van Winkle” was spelled differently in the QCYC p r e s
book and differently again in the Centre Islander newspaper. Before I start calling the present e n t
Van Winkles (of different spelling) listed in the phone book, has any oldtimer a clue about the h o
mystery of the missing house?
u s e
Bill Condie, owner of 30 Omaha on the Sandbar and on Algonquin, was Secretary of the West w
Island Drive Association, and he was responsible for many o f the arrangements for the big a
migration. Copies of much o f his correspondence are in the Archives, and the stories of the s
clearing of Sunfish, the difficulties with the moving contractor and his horses, problems with b u
collecting the moving fees and hooking up the utilities, etc., make fascinating reading (at least for i l
me!) I will include some of these tales in future newsletters.
Sawa JaL t
b e f o r e
In clearing out his house prior to its demolition, Ray Putt transferred 5 cartons of Island memorabilia to the Archives. Sorting these materials will keep the archivist happy during many
9 4 2 ,
long winter nights. Included are th e original lithographic negatives for Ray’s ubiquitous “Save Island Homes” logo, which he designed in 1974. It appeared in a multitude o f contexts. Barbara Dresner recently donated a mint condition extra small T-shirt bearing Ray’s logo. A large rendition was embossed on
j u d g
the AIA oil tank by welder Bruce Smith — it can still be seen Outback.
Chris & Marshall Perdue deposited a great batch of Island materials collected by their mother
i n
Betty over many years while living at Centre and Algonquin. Among Betty’s papers was a copy of
the 20-page IPS yearbook for 1956. The school had 300 pupils in 10 classes, and Algonquin was
well represented on the Grade 8 graduating class of 28. Jeremy Ruskin (21 Seneca) was editor,
and he contributed a number of very well written articles (he became a high school English
teacher). Jeremy won the Hayne ‘Development’ Trophy. Bruce Hyland (13 Dacotah) was m
valedictorian, and Michael Schoenborn (13 Ojibway) won the Ida Siegel Scholarship (for top i
marks). Bruce and Michael also contributed articles to the year book. Sandy Krzyzanowsld t
donated a beautiful 23″x33″ print by Gerard Paraghamian of the harbour and skyline which she s
purchased in Vancouver (of all places) during her recent travels to Trinidad and the West Coast. Sandy also deposited a batch o f recent clippings gleaned from a variety o f sources, mostly pertaining to the Island artistic community. Freda Lord donated some excellent photos of the
breakwater construction in front of her house during the past winter. From the shed of Ken McAuliffe (previously belonging to Frain & Edith Ward): a 553
ROOM and PICNIC SUPPLIES. It is painted on both sides, with one side painted over at least
1 t i n s i g n f o r a
once. The menu includes baked beans, cold baked ham, cold milk or buttermilk, red hots,
spaghetti. The sign is well worn and all the prices have been obliterated exceptSundaes – 20 cents & up.Signs appearing in old photos of Ward’s Hotel (later Tony Hopp’s Store) and the snack bars on the Main Drag at Centre have been examined, and this sign has not been located. Could any oldtimer help out? Graham Mudge donated a 30″x46″ copy of detailed plans for the construction of the present seawall and boardwalk, approved by Public Works in Ottawa on December 4,1936. They were built during the following year, and the splash cap was added during the high water year of 1952. Harbour Commission photos taken during the construction of this massive structure are in the Archives. Graham also delivered an 18″x24″ colour photo of the harbour and skyline with a Centre Island foreground from the ’50s given to him by Dr Mac Wafters. Sharon Stephens donated a roll of prints which she took at the lease signing party at the Rectory on April 11. An enlarged colour copy of the b&w photo which appeared in the Star on the following day is in the Archives. Lu Schoenborn was the first signer, and she can be seen raising a mug made by her late husband Al as a gift for the Pitcher family and loaned by the Pitchers for this memorable occasion. Grahame Beakhust donated a very interesting 7″x9″ glossy showing nighttime tennis matches under the lights, looking south toward “The Homestead” which was located right beside the tennis courts. The Homestead was a white 2-storey farmhouse built c.1890 by Bill Ward’s great-grandfather, William Ward. At the time Grahame’s photo was taken, it was being rented out asan upper & lower duplex by Bill’s grandfather Frank Ward, who lived nearby at “Shady Nook” (5 Cibola). Grahame also deposited 2 big albums of Island clippings dating from 1973 to 1980. Inscribed in big letters inside the covers is RETURN TO KAY WALKER, but Kay says “keep them!” They contain a comprehensive series o f clippings, in order and dated, collected and mounted by Kay for TIRA during the long campaign to Save Island Homes. Kay and the other veterans deserve all our praises — without them our beloved community simply would not be.One of the chief functions o f the Archives is to preserve the record o f our local history so that newcomers can learn the story of why they have the privilege of living in this unique environment.
Art Exhibition: June 3,4, 1-5 pm, Malik-Rose Gallery, 76 Berkeley St, 863-1949. Recent work by Alastair Dickson, Leida & Jerry Englar, Judi Frost, Kevin Murphy.
The Cold War: June 1-July 2, 8 pm, Theatre Centre West, 1032 Queen St W, 538-0988. The ninth episode in Michael Hollingsworth’s well-researched Canadian history series,dealing with the period between the birth of the atomic age and the assassination of JFK Once again Astrid Janson has designed the costumes and Shadowland the props. If you take in a play or two at Stratford this summer, you may see more of Astrid’s work — she designed the sets for The Stillborn Lover and Long Day’s Journey into Night, both playing at the Tom Patterson Theatre.
Toronto Harbour in Art: July 7 to September 4, Marine Museum, CNE, 392-1765. This exhibition has been held for the past few years, and each time there have been paintings of Island scenes and/or work by Islanders.
Toronto Historical Board Lunchtime Lectures and Slides: every Thursday from noon till 1, at the beautiful headquarters of the THB at 205 Yonge St, 392-6827. June 22: Discovering Unknown Toronto by John Bentley Mays. July 13: History of the RCYC by George Cuthbertson. July 20: Ernest Hemingway in Toronto by former Islander William Burrill, who has recently written a book about Hemingway. August 24: Great Lakes Art & Artists by John Summers, Curator at the Marine Museum.
Toronto Historical Board Walking Tours: every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 from June 4 to September 24,392-6827. June 11,Sept 10: Central waterfront, starting at Little Norway Park, SW corner of Bathurst & Queen’s Quay. July 9, Sept 3: William Lyon Mackenzie’s Toronto, starting at St Lawrence Market. July 30: Front St, starting at St Lawrence Market. Other tours include Cabbagetown, Don River Valley, High Park, Spadina House area, Theatre Block, etc.
ROM WALKS: Wednesdays at 6 and Sundays at 2, 586-5797. Whiskey Wharf and Windmill: Gooderham & Worts area, July 12,30, August 16,30, meet at King & Trinity. Along The Front: June 21, July 19, August 9,27, meet at Front Sz, George. Other tours include Cabbagetown, Yorkville, The Grange area, etc.
Complete lists of the above lectures and walking tours are in the Archives, and they are all ***FREE***.
During the past few months I have been delivering a week’s supply of frozen 3-course dinners from the cityside Meals on Wheels. At present Cathy Dasey is providing the frozen meals and the sturdy family workbike is providing the delivery. Any seniors or shut-ins who are interested in this service should contact Cathy (203-6040) or myself.
This issue of Iterdid 10O4ftt
1992. Each issue has dealt with one or more aspects of Algonquin Island’s history. Accounts of
4 A t e l i v e 4
your recollections o f Algonquin history, written or verbal, are always greatly appreciated. I f
i s
anyone is interested, back issues can be perused at the Archives, and copies are available for a
# 1 3 .
modest fee. Eventually I hope to combine the historical items into a book.
T h e
r a g
h a
Over the years the Island community has rallied round when one o f its members needed s
support. A recent example was described by Gertie Weinhart and her family in the May 18 issue a p p e
of Island News. Bruce Weber called for volunteers, and “Gertie’s Gang” of about 20 sprang into a r e d
action under Bruce’s masterful organization and guidance.
q u a r
Another instance of Bruce’s determination and ability to get things done concerned Barbara t e r l
(Hamilton) Ferguson. After moving into 10 Omaha with her husband Mark in 1970, Barb pursued y
an active life, raising 2 children and participating is such activities as the play school at the AJA s i
and later the Montessori school, the IPS Home & School Association, tenants’ committee, musical n c
productions (she played the cello), and the never-ending Island political campaigns. In 1981 she was stricken with multiple sclerosis, and were it not for the support of her Island neighbours, she
would have spent her last years in an institution.
From Barb, in TIRA News of December 1981: “I know what community means. One Latin root
for the word is ‘ready to serve together’. We were all fighting the sheriff off (calmly, together)
last year and we won. I feel as if the community is my family and I am using the same strength e
that was used at the bridge in the summer of 1
feel that this family/community is now fighting MS together. I am not alone.”
8 0 . I a m s t r o n g
Constant care became necessary and Heicke Kersting and Jim Fraser were hired. Heicke was
b e c a u s e
followed by Ute Dederke, and Jim & Ute looked after Barb until her death on January 25,1990.
I a m
Ute lived in the shed at 10 Omaha, and all pre-1990 neighbours have memories of a smiling Barb
p a r t
in her wheelchair being pushed around Algonquin by Jim, day after day, year after year. Fund o f
raising activities for Barb were held, and Bruce Weber circulated a petition (425 signatures) and
applied to Queen’s Park for an order-in-council to provide home-care funding. Bruce rounded up letters of support from Dr Gary Gray, MPs David Crombie & Dan Heap, Councillors Jack Layton & Dale Martin, School Trustees Joan Dorion & Olivia Chow, and, of course, from Barb’s children, Josalyn & Matthew. Bruce, Jim, David Harris, Matthew & Josalyn met at Queen’s Park with MPPs Larry Grossman & Don Cousens, and Mr Cousens presented Barb’s submission to Community & Social Services Minister John Sweeney. Eventually, with prodding by Bruce, the funding came through.
From The Goose and Duck, May 1973: “Mark and Barbara Ferguson have a son, Matthew Stephen, born 2 months prematurely on the 3rd of April (their anniversary). The baby weighed only 2 lb. 15 oz. at birth but at 4 lbs. he is approaching the 5 1/2 lb. he needs in order to be released from hospital. His mother has been taking milk into the hospital for him each day and is now happy to report that he is beginning to take the breast. He sounds like a great little fighter. At the G&D we like him already!”
From The Toronto Star, April 16, 1995:
Since becoming an actor five years ago, boyish Matthew Fer guson, 21, has spent most of his career playing “the good son.”
But i n Eclipse, h i s largest screen role to date — and still playing a n adolescent — h e leaves his parents’ home or cuts high school classes t o entice older men and have sex wit h them in anonymous hotel rooms or in their apartments.
Angelo, his character in director Jeremy Podeswa’s Toronto filmed Eclipse, now showing lo cally, “is very confident for his age, very open, very driven to find love and relationships and very patient with other people,” Ferguson not es . ” A n d h e
doesn’t mind being patronized. “He’s n o t a hus tler. H e doesn’t get paid f or sex. He’s sexually active. He’s sexually interested in older men.” He first auditioned for Eclipse in 1990, then again i n 1992, while Podeswa and co-producer Camilla Friedberg were trying to secure financing.
‘1 really liked the script and really bled Jeremy Podeswa. I didn’t go to the street for back ground. I’m not sure if I were a hustler (that) I’d be interested in talking. I do know people who have been in similar experiences as Angelo.
“The hardest part of filming was one day when it was 160 degrees in the sixth-floor apart
merit wnere we tame(‘ in the middle of summer. The long hours in a cooped-up room! But everyone was great t o wor k with.”
Eclipse follows Ferguson’s appearance as a busboy who has a crush on a male waiter wit h whom he works, in Denys Arcand’s Love And Human Re mains. That earned him a Genie Award nomination as best sup porting actor.
Ferguson, then a student at Claude Watson public school where he studied acting, made his professional debut at age 16 as the son of Barbara Gordon in Geometry for Theatre Plus and was nominated for a Dora Ma yor Moore Award.
That propelled him into play ing teenage criminals in 1V’s Top Cops and the movie, I Love A Man In Uniform, but more so into “son-of” roles. He’s been the estranged son of Judy Davis in On My Own, his movie debut; the son of Sonja Smits in the TV-movie Spenser For Hire; a son of Gemini winner Nancy Beatty i n the Gemini Award winning TV-movie Life With Bil ly; a son in the soon-to-air TV movie Harrison Bergeron; and the son of Genie Award winner Kate Lynch i n the TV-movie Lives Of Girls And Women, due on CBC next season.
“I get telephone calls all the time saying, ‘This is your Mom’ and I don’t know who it is,” he jokes.
One recent call from “Mom” Kate Lynch cast him in Measure For Measure, which she is di recting for an Equity Showcase opening Thursday at Harbour front’s York Quay Centre.
“If I think about it too much it would be scary,” he says of his first professional stab at Shake speare.
‘I’ve been really lucky, get ting good roles,” he says. Ah but, he wound up on the cutting room floor in his only American movie so far — a tiny scene playing King Merlin op posite Ben Kingsley in the To ronto-filmed Searching For Bob by Fisher.
“1 brought my friends to see it; I didn’t know the scene, my only one in the film, was cut,” he groans.
Ferguson ins is t s t h a t h e doesn’t read reviews of movies in which he appears. “By the time a film comes out it’s not a
concern of mine. I enjoy making a movie and I give all my effort while making i t It’s great t o hear people say, 1 love you in that movie,’ but whether it dies or lives doesn’t have an effect on me.”
Claiming that he has “no ca reer plan” but admitting he’d like “a lead role,” he says he can wait while playing support ing parts. “I really enjoy work ing in Canada. There are a lot of roles for people my age. I run into the same five or six actors my age at auditions. I’m learn ing stuff on every job.”
McCombs i s o n e
judge w h o r e a l l y
knows pornography. The f o r me r d e –
with a production titled / Love You, Baby Blue, inspired by City-TV’s controversial — and raunchy — Ba by Blue Movies.
“He’s the opposite of low brow,” says Toronto criminal lawyer Ken Smith, who has known McCombs
McCombs is noted for a sense of humor — “He’ s definitely not a prude,” Smit h says — b u t his friends say he has become deeply concerned with propriety since be coming a judge. His concern with presenting the fence lawyer is an expert in legal
issues surrounding the question of what constitutes sexually illicit ma terial. And he applied that expertise
yesterday in rendering judgment in S
the case of artist Eli Langer, whose paintings were seized as child por
for 20 years. “He’s a thoughtful, ac ademic guy.”
From S m i t h ‘ s pers pec t iv e, McCombs — who is as comfortable riding his BMW motorcycle as he is on the judge’s dais — was “a ready made judge.” This was borne out by
proper judicial image resulted in his bowing out of a trip with a Toronto lawyers’ motorcycle club after he was appointed a judge, but before he was sworn in.
“He gave the rather dubious ex cuse that the brief time between the
McCombs, 51, became well ac C
the fact McCombs was assigned to serious cases almost from the time
announcement and his swearing in meant that he had t o work that
quainted with Canada’s seamy un E
derbelly during 17 years of practis D
ing law, when he represented many clients charged with obscenity and
pornography offences.
he was appointed to the bench in the spring of 1992.
McCombs’ judicial abilities were no doubt enhanced, Smith says, by
weekend to wind up his practice,” fellow biker Paul Copeland, a To ronto defence counsel, wrote in a Criminal L awy e r s ‘ As s oc iat ion Newsletter at the time.
In 1990, he attacked the constitu i
the large volume of intellectually de manding appeal work he assumed
McCombs’ fellow club members
tional validity of parts of the Crimi d
nal Code dealing with pornography. McCombs was representing an Or angeville man, Ross Wise, the first person in the country to be jailed for distributing such material.
Now that he is a judge, McCombs has a duty to remain impartial. But in the eyes of those at senior levels of the Ontario Court, general divi sion, his experience in trying this type of case made him an ideal can didate to consider the complex chal lenges to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms presented by the Langer case.
His friends say that, while he’s not exactly a connoisseur of art, McCombs has an appreciation for the creative side of life and has been closely involved with Toronto’s the- atre scene.
McCombs represented Toronto’s Theatre Passe Murialle after it was accused, in 1975, of violating Cana- da’s obscenity laws in connection
during his time as a lawyer, which grew out of an unusual beginning. From 1967 t o 1970, McCombs worked f or the provincial govern ment as a probation officer. It was this experience that led him to Os goode Hall Law School, from which he graduated in 1973.
While practising law in Toronto, his clients included Lawrencia Bem benek, a former Milwaukee police officer jailed for murdering her hus band. As well, he represented Sonia Atildan, who, along with her hus band, Khachadour, fell under the spell of a herbalist and faced charg es of failing to provide the necessi- ties of life f or their 17-month-old daughter.
Says Toronto defence counsel Ted Minden, who used to practise with McCombs: “I have no hesita tion in saying to you that my years with him were some of the best of my professional l i f e
were disappointed, but chalked up victory just the same.
“With t he appointment o f t he honorable Justice McCombs, the Il legals Motorcycle Club c an n ow proudly c laim that a greater per- centage of its members have been appointed t o the bench than any other lawyers’ group in the coun try,” Copeland wrote.
Besides road machines, McCombs has maintained ot her manifesta tions of an anti-establishment lifes tyle. He lived for several years on Ojibway Ave. on Algonquin Island, one of the Toronto Islands.
Recently, he moved back to the mainland. Separated from his wife, he has two children, Samantha and Jacob, who are clearly priorities.
During the Langer trial last fall, while trying to set up an after-hours meeting with the lawyers, McCombs advised them that one time was out of the question — he had previously arranged to spend it with his son.
Ca ro l i n e ‘s Ga t e Toronto Ward’s Island photographer Linda Rosenbaum captures images from herfriends’ gardens on film, hand-colors them with photographic oils, watercolors and wax crayons and reproduces a limited number of color laser prints so that others can enjoy Rosemary’s woodpile or Gaye’s clematis or, pictured here, Caroline’s gate. Originals of Rosenbaum’s “Garden Collection” of nostalgic photographic images, $600; signed limited edition prints, $55. Framed and matted prints can be shipped across Canada by XPressPost foras little as$130. Call the artist at (416) 203-1038.
/ 9 r
Snake Island
sailors, ahoy!
Does anybody remember the weekend sailing’ exercise on Snake Island in Toron,toharbor inSeptember, Ira ? The train ing and camp-out on this tiny Island involved more than 100 Sea Cadets and a
boats out of IIMCS York It hap- pened only once.
. f l o t i l l a
o f
If you know a ity
s a i l –
Operation Snake Islarkd, please let me Imow. –

iti i i i g
‘• – H I G H L A N D TONES a b o u t
•West O n t . MIE 4R5 , •
From the April 1995 issue of Transfer Points, the newsletter of the Toronto Transportation Society. The next meeting of the society is June 12,7:15 pm, at Metro Archives,255Spadina Road, 397-5000. Archivist Te d Wickson wi l l speak o n TTC/Gray Coach Intercity Operations. Adam is a passionate collector of TTC materials in general and Island bus & ferry tickets and timetables in particular. His article below was illustrated with Island bus tickets from 1947 to 1959.Please let him know if you come across any of these items.
by: Adam Zhelka
While most Torontonians are familiar with the Toronto Islands, few would associate their quiet ambience with any sort of organized commuter or transit service. This is likely due to the fact that such things are not fully evident until the winter season has arrived.
The off season lasts from mid October to the beginning of May, during which time all conces sions are closed, the sailboats at the yacht clubs are pulled from the iced over lagoons and the empty parks seem a barren wasteland. Winter passengers on the ferry boat, the only way to reach the islands, consist almost solely of the 750 permanent island residents, city living students attending the Island Public School and Parks Department employees.
Ferry service is provided by Metro Toronto Parks and Property Department, and in the winter the icebreaker car ferry ONGIARA is the only vessel operating. Daily service is provided to Wards Island, at the eastern end where the residential community is located, from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm. In addition, four scheduled trips, and extras as required, are run to Hanlans Point (at the opposite end of the harbour but physically connected to Wards Island) every weekday for vehicular traffic since that is the only dock built with an appro priate ramp.
Often ice and/or wind conditions necessitate full service to Hanlans, in which case a shuttle bus is provided between Hanlans and Wards Dock, a distance of about 5 km. This service uses two TIC buses which are rented full time to the Parks Department and remain permanently stationed on the island. The vehicles are operated by Metro Parks employees and are used by them to carry their staff when not on shuttle duty. For many years these buses were also used to bus the Island children to school, but the Toronto Board of Education has found it more economical to supply
Ti c ket 3 A
its own school bus.
It should also be noted that when ice conditions are really bad or mechanical difficulties force the ONGIARA from service, transportation is through the Island Airport which is located at the western end of the island next to Hanlans Point The airport ferry, operated by the Toronto Harbour Commission from the foot of Bathurst Street, traverses the Western Gap shipping channel in about one minute, which the writer believes is the shortest, regularly scheduled ferry service in the world. Normally, access to the Island park is not allowed from the airport however at these times the shuttle buses are escorted across the runways, often between ongoing takeoff and landing operations! Needless to say, various people have expressed concern about the safety implications of this operation.
Historically, winter service had been somewhat
different, with steam tugs (notably the NED
HAMAN) providing passenger service across the harbour until the launching of the ONGIARA in
1962. As well, until that time a scheduled bus
service was actually provided during the cold
season, first by the City of Toronto and later the
TIC. This service was obviously not associated
with any of the city routes (hence no transfers
issued or accepted) and bus fare was $.05 cash
with tickets available at 5 for $•25.
The current winter has been mild and normal
3ervice to Wards Island has only been interrupted on four or five days, requiring service to operate
via Hanlans. A chartered tugboat has helped to
keep the ferry route from freezing solid and in
other years has on occasion been needed to free the ferry when it has become stuck in the ice.
Although the whole process appears very
cumbersome, most of the regular passengers have become accustomed to these rituals and accept
them as they occur. If nothing else, it can make for an interesting trip home at the end of a day.
Winter Ferry Time Table
p.m. 4 i.m. p.m. 6.30 12.00 830 6.45 12.15 8.45
7.00 1.00 9.30 7.15 1.15 9.45
7.15 2.15 1030 730 2.30 10.45
S E RV I CE – . – 104 I l a d t t •
5 for 2 5 0
7-30 3.30 11-30 7.45 3.45 11.45 7.45 4.00 8.00 4.15 8.00 4.30 8.15 4.40 8.15 4.55 8.30 5.05 8-30 5.20 8.45 5-30 9.15 5.45 9-30 5.55 9.30 6.10 10.15 6-30 10.30 7.00 10.45 7.15
On the front page of Island News, May 18, Graham Mudge contributed a poem of double entendre by long-time friend o f the Island, Richard Outrana. Richard’s way with words deserves further exposure. Here is another example, from Peripatetics, 1994. Richard has kindly donated copies of both his Island books to the Archives.
On 28 August 1980 I made a submission to the second of the
informal hearings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Toronto
Islands, kn o wn eponymously (after the Commissioner, Barry
Swadron, Q.C.) as The Swadron Commission in which I argued
for the retention of the Toronto Islands Residents’ Community. A
discarded version of the opening of my submission began:
Toads, Bala Americanus, fo r a considerable period each
spring on Ward’s Island are present everywhere, clasped
fast in amplexus, coupling; and in such numbers as to present
a considerable hazard underfoot. I once mentioned this
phenomenon to a charming young Islander; she replied,
enthusiastically, ‘Yes! – and they’re singing while they’re
doing it!’
and I went on to say how very appropriate it seemed, in the light
of such characteristic effervescence, that the Islands Community
should have adopted the toad as their familiar and symbol. My
actual submission ended as follows:
All cities are best sustained b y virtue of their various
member communities. N o c it y ca n have too many
communities; no city, certainly not Toronto, can afford to
relinquish even one o f them. We are all whittled at,
diminished by, the constant pressures of and demands for
the uniform, the standardized, the cheapest and the lowest
common denominator. Always in the name of exigency,
efficiency, expediency. But wh ile acknowledging these
necessary pressures, we must be fully aware that our loves,
our vocations, our homes – those most important things in
our lives – are informed ultimately by other virtues. Which
are those real individual qualities, the rich human flux,
the idiosyncrasies, the eccentricities even, which offer to us
the promise of the resplendent textures of exuberant life.
Societies persist through the necessary mutual recognition
of mutual obligations, through social contracts. Genuine
communities may prevail only, like genuine individuals,
through the identifications of a common love. And just as
we sustain and are sustained within our individualities, so,
given the love, understanding and good will of us all,
resident o r not, I am certain that the Toronto Islands
Residents’ Community, as one witness o f all .true and
necessar Human Communit, must and will revail.

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